Monday, December 31, 2007

final finished object of 2007

One last finished object!

It's not blocked, and the ends aren't woven in yet, but I'm calling the sweater done! It's the uber-comfy Berkshire Pullover from Weekend Knitting. I used the Patons UpCountry from the failed, cabled turtleneck pattern. It's going to be lovely once I get that huge roll at the bottom to relax and just hang...

I added a little bit of waist shaping on the sweater, because I was concerned that it would be too tunic-y. I also shortened the sleeves by a few inches, because my arms are pretty short. I did this in just a couple of days, and am really pleased to have one more thing finished before the end of 2007.

I'll share some action shots over the weekend. I'm still fighting this cold, and am in no shape to have a picture taken! I tried to go to the drugstore to find some over-the-counter medicine, but the options are too too confusing when your head is swimming. I eventually left without anything. But it also appears that almost all the cold medication is now behind the checkout counter, and I have no idea how I'd be able to go up there and remember exactly which item I selected. There's your selection of symptoms, day or night version, rapid release or slow going... thanks, meth addicts!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

prize winner!

I acquired a cold on Thursday night, and I've been trying to recover ever since. What really lifted my spirits yesterday morning was finding my prize package from the 2007 Spin-Out! I made a donation to the Heifer Project, and was lucky enough to win one of the prizes. When I got the email, I was a bit nervous that I'd open the box in a few days and find lots and lots of roving, or some other spinning supplies that I can't use. Happily, it's all knitting here!

There's a beautiful skein of sock yarn from Mama Blue Knitting Goods in Lagoon, which I think are destined to be the cabled socks from the IK holiday issue. (The varigated yarn used in the magazine was a poor choice, and I think that these are going to look much better.) There's also a beaded shawl kit from Ellene Warren, and a collapsable yarn basket. Thank you to all of those who donated gifts, those who made donations to Heifer, and to Cara for organizing the whole event!

Friday, December 28, 2007

knitting on the road

My trip upstate earlier this week provided quite a bit of knitting time.

I didn't quite finish this sock while upstate, but the first one is done now. The yarn is Blue Ridge Yarns, which I got at Rhinebeck this year. It was an impulse purchase at the end of the day, and once I got it home, I realized that I didn't love it. Given my recent experience with pooling sock yarn, I was concerned about this. However, all fretting has come to naught, because the sock is beautiful, and I now adore the colorway. And have I mentioned that I love a stockinette sock?

A recent review of my stash revealed far more sock yarn than I could ever knit into socks, so I decided to use this huge skein (560 yards!) of Seacoast Handpainted for a Chevron Scarf from LMKG. It's 25% shorter in width, but I like it just fine. There's no schedule for it, and I'll just grab it whenever I need an on-the-go project. (Look at all this pre-holiday knitting going on!)

I've also started Elizabeth Zimmerman's Baby Sweater on Two Needles. It's my first EZ project, and I'm very excited about it. I've got a bunch of her projects that I want to start in the new year... including a bunch of mittens.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

gift reveal

Now that all of the presents have been gifted, I can share the pair of socks that I made for Mom. It's the Slipped Stitch Rib sock from Sensational Knitted Socks. As per Mom's request, I used the darkest yarn in my collection: the Spruce colorway of Mountain Colors Bearfoot. The stitch pattern is really cushy, and I think it would be really good for a yarn that's pooling like mad; just a little slipping to break up the swirls. I also really liked the Bearfoot, which has some mohair, so they will be really warm.

All in all, I gifted four pairs of socks, four scarves, three hats, three pairs of mittens or handwarmers, and a (last minute) neckwarmer this Christmas. I knit a bunch of these over the summer, and stashed them away for the right opportunity. I'm definietly going to do the same for 2008, and start even earlier!

Today is gray and rainy, so I'm going to relax with a sunny-colored sock and the DVD of Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitting Workshop for a while. Add a cup of coffee and I'm good for the afternoon!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

jolly chrismakkuah

I hope that everyone had a very enjoyable holiday (if you celebrate yesterday's). I had new socks!

Cute picot edge, and coordinating heels and toes. (And excessive pooling!)

I cast on a lot of things while I was away, and will share pictures of my progress tomorrow!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

wrapping up

My finished Shetland Triangle is all that I hoped it would be... graceful, warm, and stunning in a subtle way. The Artfibers Ming was wonderful, and such a treat to use. The silk gives it a wonderful drape, and the merino holds it together, so I'm not too worried about it stretching like made.

Pattern: Shetland Triangle by Evelyn Clark, from Wrap Style.
Yarn: Ming, from Artfibers; 4.5 skeins
Needle: size 7 Addi
Modifications: different yarn, obviously, from the recommended laceweight. It seems that I love knitting lace, but not with the super-skinny yarn that one so often needs to use. Perhaps with more practice on the lace part with heavier yarn, I'll slowly be able to introduce the skinny stuff and succeed. I did more repeats of the pattern (13 to the suggested 8), and stopped because I wasn't sure if I could eek another repeat out of the yarn that I had left. The blocked size is 60" across and 30" deep, so I'm completely fine with how it turned out.

That edging! So lovely.

The peacock feather motif looks great in these colors. It rocked my office holiday party at the UN Delegates Dining Room!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

just in time

It’s done! And just in time for my office holiday party on Friday. (There are a few knitters ‘round the office, so I hope I can bump into them to accept compliments.) It’s still pinned out, but was pretty dry this morning. The very dry air at home certainly sped up the blocking process.

I’ll try to get proper pictures over the weekend, because the just-rising sun and arriving winter storm didn’t offer much in the way of light to show off the shawl. Expect a full wrap-up with the pictures. But I’m so pleased with what I accomplished… in less than a week.

If you could use a laugh, please check out the customer reviews on Amazon… for milk.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

starting the shetland

On Thursday night, I was feeling pretty unsatisfied with my works-in-progress projects. I'm not accountable to anyone with respect to my knitting, so I decided to start the Shetland Triangle from Wrap Style. I brought the pattern with me on our trip to San Francisco in January, and found the perfect yarn at Artfibers. The design is supposed to resemble a fir cone, but it always struck me as looking like the center of a peacock feather. The bluey-purpley-greeney yarn is a perfect match for my vision of the shawl. I've been going like mad on it (who needs sleep?), and love seeing it grow. It's exactly what I needed right now.

Friday, December 07, 2007

first sock: done!

In using up my remaining vacation time, I was happy that I'd be home during daylight for a change. Yay! I could take pictures with real light! But today's been very overcast (just noticed that it's started snowing, actually), and the finished Christmakkuah sock still doesn't want its picture taken.

I've got a couple of train trips to make this weekend, so I should be able to make pretty good progress on the second sock.* Of course, Hubby is heading to the old alma mater for the weekend, so I can also do nothing except sit on the couch and knit. (There are a few obligations that I must attend to, of course, but otherwise I'll be listening to a book on CD and knitting.) I should easily be able to finish these by December 25!

*I started a new project last night, which I really don't need to start, but it's a little present to myself. Pictures of that tomorrow (it's supposed to be sunny).

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

4,000 word (photo) essay

Forming actual words into complete-ish sentences is a bit beyond me today. (I do not like leaving for work before the sun has officially come up.* Also, there are very few women (maybe 5%?) on the 6:49 train into the city. Interesting. However, it is fun to write mean emails before 8am to colleagues who haven’t done what they said they’d done. I Am Awesome; You Are Not.)

*I was awake because of a nightmare about huge bugs (with 8” antennae) crawling into the bedroom through the air conditioner. Scary. I didn’t peak under the curtain that’s hiding the AC, because I really didn’t want to know if there were bugs.


Blinding Sock!

A possible replacement sweater for the very bulky yarn! (Berkshire pullover from Weekend Knitting)

And a very happy Hanukkah to y’all.

Monday, December 03, 2007

from the ashes

My hopes were dashed by the crash and burn of the Patons Urban Turtleneck, but I found something else to comfort me in this crazy time of December. I need stockinette stitch! So I pulled out my 2006 birthday present, 14 skeins of lovely Noro Cash Iroha.

The Hourglass Sweater pattern is rife with errors, including a big one about yarn requirements. As in, everyone who’s made the sweater has needed much more yarn than called for. My size requires 10 skeins, and I thought that I’d bought 12. This caused little nagging hints of anxiety, because what if that still wasn’t enough? Should I start it anyway? So imagine my surprise on Saturday morning when I discovered that I was terribly clever and bought 14! Plenty of yarn, and all should be right in the world (of this sweater).

I’m about 10” up one sleeve, and it’s already sucked up one skein of yarn. Repeat with me: 14 skeins will be enough. 14 skeins will be enough.